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Baring It All: 2014 gives us a chance to show our teddy insight, one cub and quip at a time! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 09:19


Teddy Roosevelt and his namesake bear—together through the miracle of PhotoShop!
This political cartoon, courtesy of Clifford Berryman, linked big-game hunter Theodore Roosevelt with the humane act of sparing a cub’s life.
Teddy Roosevelt sits beside his spared cub—the origin of the modern teddy bear.
Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin were the best of friends.
Brian Jones, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Christopher Robin, bought the estate where A.A. Milne authored his beloved books.
Cotchford Farm was the estate that witnessed two key moments of pop culture history: the origin of Pooh and the death of Jones.
Christopher Robin was the subject of this sculpture, found on the many acres of Cotchford Farm. (May we say a hundred acres?)
Elvis gave and got many bears throughout his career. Here he received a koala while touring Australia.
Teri Garr danced in the background of Elvis Presley musical vehicles. “The King” gifted her a teddy bear.
Garr strikes a glamour pose in her Hollywood heyday.
250,000 bears and growing! The Calgary Hitmen hockey team donates teddy bears to local charities.
Looming above all others! Why, it’s Evan the 61-foot-tall bear.
Teddy Roosevelt and his namesake bear—together through the miracle of PhotoShop!
start stop bwd fwd

The new year is beginning, and it’s always fabulous to gaze at a blank slate. Nothing yet has happened to cause embarrassment, heartache, grief, or dreaded silence from friends and family. The year is still a brand-new little cub, and it is mine for the tending! I can only hope that 2014 will be bursting with adventures and amazement.

That’s what is so refreshing about kicking off a new year and a new set of blogs. Favorite themes can be explored; unpopular ones can be jettisoned; new ones can be uncovered.

A friend of mine, Cam, has suggested a way to spread the power of ursine love. He is adopting a personal “365 Days of Ted” campaign. Now, what, pray tell, does that mean?

It’s not 365 days devoted to Theodor “Ted” Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. It’s not 365 days focused on Ted McGinley, the blow-dried actor who appeared on every sitcom during the 1970s and 1980s. It’s not even a salute to President Teddy Roosevelt, who is enjoying a renaissance courtesy  of Christmas’s big blockbuster book, “The Bully Pulpit.”

No, it’s a “365 Days of Ted” that has to do with promoting how important it is to own a teddy bear, buy a teddy bear, share a teddy bear, and learn about a teddy bear. If there is a new granddaughter or niece in your life, buy a bear. If there is a graduation or a promotion looming on the horizon, share a bear. If there is a new season, there is a reason to get out and get a hold of a bear!

With 365 days in a year, there are certainly 365 facts to be learned: one a day. Here, in my kick-off blog, let’s address 5 interesting facts about our plush pals. I’ll include new ones with every blog this year!

1)    Clifford Berryman’s 1902 political cartoon in The Washington Post spawned the teddy bear, named for President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
2)    Brian Jones, the doomed musician of the Rolling Stones, lived on the same British country estate as A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh. Jones bought the house, Cotchford Farm, and lived there until his untimely death—drowning in the property’s swimming pool.
3)    Elvis Presley didn’t just sing about teddy bears. He lived them! One of his popular gifts for girlfriends and gals he was eyeing were teddy bears. When she was a background dancer, Teri Garr got one from him!
4)    The Calgary Hitmen hockey team has given away nearly 250,000 teddy bears to local Canadian charities. The team gathers these bears from their annual teddy bear toss, which will be 20 years old this year.
5)    What is the world’s largest teddy bear? It’s “Evan” and he measures 61 feet tall. The patchwork creation was made by Jason Lynch, president of the E.G. Bear Company.

Every day there is a curious or a significant tidbit to learn about teddy bears. Their 100-year-plus history is filled with mohair and milestones. I hope to share more thoughts about Teddy as the year unfurls. And I hope to learn more about him too!